Elon Musk, currently the world’s richest man, is certainly no stranger to technology and innovation. It’s difficult to talk about the present day tech scene without mentioning the tech titan cum entrepreneur. In the early 2000s he founded his first company, Zip2, and went on to found and/or co-found several more companies, among them, Paypal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX. But did he ever buy Twitter?
In 2012, Musk invested in 10 companies, including LinkedIn, Yammer, Everstore and SpaceX, but not Twitter. Although he has the wealth and power to acquire any company he wishes, Musk has never pursued such a purchase. Some speculate that Musk had the opportunity to acquire the social media platform back in its early days, but passed it up.
Twitter Acquisition Dilemma
Rather than acquiring ownership, Musk’s interaction with Twitter has been to provide commentary, respond to queries and corrections from users, and join conversations. In a 2018 address to the people, Musk highlighted the challenge facing the acquisition of Twitter by anyone, let alone himself.
“Acquiring Twitter would potentially open the door to further acquisitions from other major companies. This would raise equity value, lower prices, and therefore make it harder for any business to acquire the platform. Therefore, for myself or any potential acquirer, it’s not worth the risk.”
Twitter’s Influence Upon Elon Musk
Since his first tweet in 2010, Musk has become a fixture in the Twittersphere, amassing 37 million followers. Twitter has become a place within which Musk can announce any news related to Tesla and SpaceX, his two biggest companies.
In 2018 the tech mogul made a bet on the platform to donate $1 million to charity if the platform would reach 200,000 followers. By mid-2020, the hashtag #Tesla had reached more than 4 billion impressions, making it the 4th highest reaching hashtag of the year.
Elon Musk’s Influence on Twitter
Twitter has become a soundboard for Musk’s projects and visions, allowing him to directly communicate with his followers and customers. This type of directness gives people the feeling of ownership, and adds a layer of personalization to Tesla and SpaceX that consumers just don’t get from other tech giants.
Moreover, Elon Musk is helping to change the way people perceive Twitter, showing that it’s not just a place for petty arguments and celebrity gossip, but a powerful space for introducing and advocating big plans and ideas. On the platform, he consistently applies his own unique and innovative mindset to formulate bold theories, inspire his followers and drive conversations.
One of Musk’s favorite tactics is using Twitter to attract investment. His tweets are often packed with bold predictions and warnings, which generate curiosity and drive interest in his ideas. This has been particularly helpful in raising public awareness of Tesla and SpaceX, which has consequently led to increased investment in both companies.
Collaboration with Media & Entertainment
In addition to spurring conversations and increasing awareness of his projects and companies, Musk has used Twitter to reach out to celebrities and promote collaborations. His 2016 plan, to send a Tesla car into space, was made official after a successful collaboration with musician Kanye West, who had reached out to Musk on Twitter.
Musk has also collaborated with several film and TV projects, including the SpaceX documentary series “Life on Mars” and the film “Passengers”, which featured a Tesla car as one of its main protagonists. These collaborations have widened the appeal of Musk’s work and have helped to further develop his now iconic brand.
Elon Musk and Twitter: In Conclusion
It appears that Musk never bought Twitter, despite having had the wealth and resources to do so. Instead, he chose to utilize the platform to promote his projects, missions and visions and has been highly successful in doing so. Over the past decade, Twitter has become an invaluable tool for Musk, enabling him to reach out to customers and other influential people, garner momentum and raise awareness of his companies and vision.
Musk’s Mars Mission
Taking on the seemingly impossible task of colonising Mars, Musk’s Mars mission seeks to overcome the technical, financial, and psychological challenges of space exploration. His plan includes establishing a self-sustaining city on the red planet, and over the past few years he has made use of the platform to launch campaigns, spread the word and seek out support.
Musk has established his ambition through ambitious twets, rallying influential people to join him on Martian soil. He regularly hosts Q&A sessions on Twitter, where any user can ask him questions. In addition, he often posts visuals and animations to keep his followers informed and up to date with progress on the project.
Impact of Social Media Informing About Mars Mission
His use of the platform to inform and guide correspondents has generated much interest and discussion about the mission. But it has also helped to generate awareness among the general public. This attention has in turn attracted some of the world’s top scientists and space experts to join the mission, bringing with them a wealth of experience to the project.
Twitter has also been used to solicit donations and gain support for the mission. To date, Musk’s mission has attracted considerable public enthusiasm, with many users courageously voicing their support for the project.
In recent years, Musk has depleted tremendous resources on expanding SpaceX’s horizons. This includes the development of a professional spacecraft and space exploration vehicles, to the launch of dozens of satellites.
Twitter has played an invaluable part in his efforts to make all of these advancements. His announcements and updates on the progress and development of the company are regularly met with enthusiasm and curiosity. In addition, he often uses the platform to develop new relationships with potential investors and partners.
Analysis and Insights from Experts
Jeff Desjardins, from Visual Capitalist, summarises Musk’s approach to Twitter, noting that “his charismatic, optimistic and even controversial tweets have convinced the world that a journey to Mars is possible, and even inevitable.” Others, such as Adam Sohn, an advisor to Forbes.com, explain that Twitter allows Musk to remain “humanised”, reaching out directly to his supporters and investors, and offering them an insight into his motivations, goals and success.
Twitter also provides a platform for celebrity involvement and promotion. With his prominent position, Elon has gained the attention of many other famous figures. Some have joined his cause, lending their influence and fortunes to his mission, while others have chosen to use their platforms to snub his vision, calling it “delusional” and “arrogant”.
Head to Head: Musk Vs Twitter Naysayers
At times, proponents of Musk’s mission face considerable opposition on Twitter. Activists, scientists, and public figures have criticised Elon’s lofty ambitions, accusing him of skimming resources that should be used to address critical Earth-based problems.
In response, Musk has launched spirited debates on the platform which encourages the participation of his followers. These debates demonstrate his commitment to his mission, and provide insight into the depths of his passion and the magnitude of his ambition.
Financial Implications of Musk’s Vision
Musk’s seemingly never ending appetite for space exploration has had significant financial repercussions. In 2018 Space X reported a net loss of $1.4 billion resulting from operations related to its exploration and development of space.
Musk has justified this loss by citing the amount of money invested in research and development, the public’s interest in the mission, and the potential returns to be earned in the future. It’s clear however that the expenses have made a serious dent in Tesla’s profitability.
Critical Reception of Musk’s Mission
Although his ambitions appear surreal to some, the majority of the public seems to be in favor of Elon’s mission. As a result, the company has enjoyed wide-spread recognition and global media coverage.
Elon’s use of Twitter has been especially helpful in this regard. Rapidly-growing followers and engage ment have allowed him to reach an even broader public, as well as garner more support and enthusiasm for his project.
Works Cited / Further Reading
Desjardins, Jeff. “How Elon Musk Is Changing the Course of Space Exploration Using Twitter.” Visual Capitalist, Visual Capitalist, 6 Dec. 19, https://www.visualcapitalist.com/how-elon-musk-is-changing-the-course-of-space-exploration-using-twitter/.
Sohn, Adam. “Elon Musk Is Using Twitter To Stay Humanised.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 9 May 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamsohn/2018/05/09/elon-musk-is-using-twitter-to-stay-humanized-and-make-millions/#4c4e0bd43f45.
#Tesla Hits Its Highest Impressions in 2020. Tweet Reach. Accessed 7 May 2021. https://tweetreach.com/trends/786362140365910016.